Congrats Graduates!

Earlier this summer we were able to celebrate with our residents as three of them graduated from our Foundations Life Recovery program.

Our Foundations Life Recovery program is a free 13-month addiction and life rehabilitation program that helps men conquer the sins that destroy their bodies, relationships and lives. During the 13-months in the program, the men attend classes, Bible studies, and participate in work programs. These classes and programs help to educate the men about their true identity and purpose that God has for them in this life.

Some of the men who join the program have been raised in the church or Christian homes while others are brand new to the life-changing message of Christ. All of the men are dealing with addictions of some sort whether they are alcohol, drugs and pornography. The majority of the guys who come seeking help are trying desperately to stop the destruction of themselves, having already lost jobs, houses, and most importantly, relationships with family & friends.

While in our program, the guys live in our dorm and are fed, clothed and counseled for free, thanks to the generous support of our neighbors, friends, churches and other organizations in the community who fund The Hope Center. Many of the men have nothing left when they walk in the door. But they leave having gained so much for so little!

We are so thankful for the staff, volunteers and churches who help to bring the message of God’s love into the hearts of these men who Satan has enjoyed destroying. For the staff at The Hope Center, to be able to watch our residents graduate is a deeply emotional and incredibly exciting moment. Knowing how dark their lives once were and to see them glowing with the happiness of Christ, it’s a feeling that words can barely describe. Each one of these men was once a forgotten soul that Satan had thought he devoured. But God saw them for their potential in all of their sin and He had something great planned for them.

The men in our Foundations Life Recovery program have a lot of obstacles to conquer. From breaking the addictions, to learning who they can trust, to rebuilding their self value, to dealing with personal demons, there are many roadblocks in the path to recovery but these men who graduated fought the good fight and gave the other guys in the program the courage to continue their own fight to sobriety and salvation.

DSC_0033

 

DSC_0037

So join us in congratulating the three men who got the victory this summer. Frank Shortt, Troy Robinson and Bill Rice all completed the Foundations Life Recovery program and were honored at a moving ceremony for them. Staff, family, friends and volunteers were invited to join in the celebratory ceremony where guest speaker, Matt Sargent, spoke. Following the ceremony, graduates, residents, staff and guests all gathered together for a time of fellowship in our dining room.

Jeff Duncan & SisterDSC_0079

We’ve asked each of the three men to give us a brief testimony of their journey towards recovery. Here is what they said:

Frank Shortt

Frank Shortt 2015I came to The Hope Center in September of 2013 out of desperation and loss of hope. Since coming here, God has done something in my life that I, and my loved ones, would never had thought possible.

God has, and is, changing this heart that was hardened and broken. Among many other things, He has given hope where there was no hope.

For now, my future plans consist of building my relationship with God, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, along with my two biological sons.

Troy Robinson

Troy RobinsonWhen I came to The Hope Center in January of 2013 I was lost, scrambling to gain meaningful sobriety. Not just drinking and drugging, which I had succumbed to, but being able to live purposefully.

While in the program, God taught me that Jesus is the only way. He is the truth. He is the life. The hopeless can find hope in the Almighty. There is victory in Jesus.

My future plans are to finish well, rejoicing in the Lord always. “Let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

Bill Rice

William Rice 2015I am 55 years old and I have struggled with alcoholism both as an unbeliever and a believer. Before coming to The Hope Center I attended Bible College but I succumbed to my addiction and fell away from the Lord. So in 2007 I enrolled in the Foundations Life Recovery program and progressed well until I blew it and was released from the program. I attribute my failure to spiritual pride because I had a knowledge of the Word that other members of the program did not.

In 2014 I knew I had to get help and asked to return to the program at The Hope Center. I finished the program and remained sober the whole time. God has dealt a lot with me in the spiritual pride area but He is still working on me.

It is my desire someday to be in ministry, but I find as a graduate that I struggle with handling freedom. I would appreciate your prayers that I would give God total control of every area of my life.

 

Please continue to pray for these men as they venture out on their own, back into the world where Satan has plenty of temptations waiting for them. Pray that they continue to fight the fight and stay strong in the Lord.

And thank you, to each of you who has invested in the lives of these men and everyone else who has come to The Hope Center seeking help in some form. From prayers, to volunteering, to hosting a chapel service, to donating food, shopping in our Thrift Stores and financially supporting us so we can continue to provide this ministry for free, God has used you to help change a life. You may not realize it or even think about it but these three men, and the countless other individuals and families helped at The Hope Center, are because of faithful friends like you who God has called to help change this city and win it for Christ.

Thank you for partnering with us as we celebrate 60 years and thousands upon thousands of lives changed in Hagerstown!

Where is Your Hope?

One of my favorite hymns, On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand, states in the first verse, “My HOPE is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” It states in the third verse, “When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my HOPE and stay.”

The ministry of the HOPE Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission is reaching out to the many who have nowhere else to turn. They are not aware of the blessed HOPE that is Jesus Christ until they find their way to the Rescue Mission. Lives have been changed through the sharing of the HOPE of the Gospel. (Romans 8:24 & 25)

Hebrews 11:1 states: Now faith is the substance of things HOPED for, the evidence of things to come. As this message of HOPE is given to so many who are down and out and have no place else to turn, the love of God through His Son Jesus gives a whole new perspective. Not only are our sins forgiven, but Titus 2:13 tells us, Looking for that blessed HOPE and glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. We now know where we will spend eternity, and His return could happen today.

But are believers sharing this HOPE, the good news of our salvation? 1 Peter 3:15 says, But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the HOPE that is in you with meekness and fear.

I praise God for the ministry of the many Rescue Missions founded by my dear Uncle Jim Resh and the HOPE they have given to thousands over the years. As we are living in the end times when the rapture could happen at any moment, believers need to be ready to share the Gospel at every opportunity. We also need to give our support to ministries like The HOPE Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission.

Lynette Brewer

Written by Lynette Brewer

Lynette Brewer lives in Westminster, Maryland, has been President of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Westminster Rescue Mission and has recently become a member of their Board of Directors.

Hair Cuttery Share-a-Haircut is Back!

We’re sure that you are having as much fun as we are enjoying summer.

From barbeques, to Camp Wild, to vacations, swimming pools and chasing lightning bugs at dusk, summer is truly a magical time of year.

But as we all know, all good things must come to an end. And as we delight in each new summer morning, we slowly march closer to fall.

In just a few short weeks it’ll be back to school time and a return to the regularly scheduled lifestyle most American families are accustomed to.

With back to school time approaching comes the fun of preparing for the big day by shopping for new clothes, backpacks, school supplies and getting fresh haircuts for the first day.

Unfortunately, there are kids right here in Hagerstown who don’t get to share in all the fun of back to school preparations.

Even as our economy has slowly improved, many American families are still struggling to provide basic necessities for their children. Haircuts can often times be an after thought, or not even a thought at all.

We’re proud to be part of Hair Cuttery’s Share a Haircut again this year! As in the past, every time a child, up to age 18, purchases a haircut, Hair Cuttery will donate a free haircut certificate to a child in need.

Hair Cuttery 2015

The Share-a-Haircut program will last from August 1-15. All local Hair Cuttery salons are participating in this program. So take your kids and spread the word to your friends and family to join you at Hair Cuttery to get fresh haircuts and provide one for underprivileged kids in Hagerstown.

There are three very convenient Hair Cuttery’s in the Hagerstown area.

  • Valley Mall – 17301 Valley Mall Rd., 301.582.4386
  • Hagerstown Commons – 1733 Dual Highway,301.745.9726
  • Shoppes at Hagerstown – 18035 Garland Groh Blvd.,  301.714.0003

For more information about Hair Cuttery salons, including salon hours and current wait times, please go to http://www.haircuttery.com.

Please join us in helping to give kids a fresh start to a new school year with a fresh cut from Hair Cuttery! Thank you for caring & sharing in our community!

Camp Wild 2015 is Here!

The Hope Center at Hagerstown Rescue Mission has been ministering to kids for more than 40 years. From summer camp programs, to the Lighthouse Puppeteers, after-school activities, block parties, TV shows, and Sunday Night Wild, our kids ministry has had a long, rich history of reaching kids for Christ.

One of the most exciting ministries that we have for kids takes place every summer. Camp Wild, known in the past as Conoco Camp, is a free day camp for kids ages 5-12. Camp Wild hosts four weeks of summer fun for campers who want to seek adventure, make friends, and get to know the greatest friend they’ll ever have, Jesus.

Camp Wild 2

Mornings at Camp Wild are spent playing games and sports activities, singing, engaging in interactive Bible lessons, spending time building relationships in small groups and enjoying a delicious lunch.

DSC_0284Afternoons are spent outdoors at our camp facility located less than 10 miles from downtown Hagerstown. Campers spend several hours outside learning, playing, exploring and swimming. Various themed activities are provided to our campers that help to immerse them in learning and give them the opportunity to be hands on and experience new things. Other activities for campers include hayrides, inner-tubing down the creek, flying high on our zip line and hiking on our wooded trails.

Camp Wild is a great opportunity to reach hundreds of kids for Christ by giving them a DSC_0526safe and exciting environment to play, explore and learn. Our staff and volunteers spend countless hours a day building relationships with the kids and helping them to see their value to God.

Since Camp Wild is a free camp, anyone between the ages of 5-12 can be a part of it. And we even provide complimentary transportation to and from our camp everyday for families living in certain areas of Hagerstown. All of this is free for the kids of Hagerstown thanks to generous friends and supporters in the greater Hagerstown area.

DSC_0342When you donate financially or through in-kind gifts like gently used items for our Thrift Stores or food donations, you’re helping to send a kid to camp for free.  When you give, you’re providing a summer opportunity that could change that child’s life for eternity. Pretty cool, isn’t it? You just never know how God will use your gift to change lives.

Want to learn more about Camp Wild? Go to http://www.campwildusa.com to get all the info you need. If you want to talk to someone about registering some kids for Camp Wild, please call 301.739.1165 or email info@wildsideyouth.com.

If you’re interested in volunteering or becoming a financial supporter of The Hope Center, please call 301.739.1165 or email us at hagerstownrescue@Verizon.net. You can take a look at various volunteer opportunities we have at http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com.

As we kick off another year of summer camp, please remember to keep our campers, staff and volunteers in your prayers. And keep checking back to see pictures from past years of our camp programs as well as pictures from all the fun taking place this year at Camp Wild 2015!

Our Block Party Rocked!

On Saturday, May 16th, Walnut Street was the scene of another party for all of our neighbors and friends in Hagerstown!

We hosted a Block Party which was free for anyone in the community. There was plenty to do including a dodge ball tournament, a bounce house, face painting, sports activities, carnival games and plenty of free food!

Anniversary Block (11) Anniversary Block (12) Anniversary Block (18) Anniversary Block (19) Anniversary Block (28) Anniversary Block (29) Anniversary Block (30) Anniversary Block (32)

Anniversary Block (10)Anniversary Block (21)We’re thankful for all of our faithful friends who volunteered their time and energy to help us throw a great party in the streets! We completely and thoroughly appreciate everything our volunteers do for The Hope Center. Our volunteers have been faithfully serving and supporting this ministry for 60 years and we’re thankful for the strong bond we have with the local community who believe in the importance of reaching, helping, caring, and loving the least, the last and the lost in our city.

Anniversary Block (6)Anniversary Block (9)Anniversary Block (14)Anniversary Block (4)

The Block Party was just another fantastic event in our 60th Anniversary Year of Celebration! Thank you to all who participated and supported this event.

To see more pics from this event go to http://www.hopecenter60.com and click on the ‘Events’ tab. At the bottom of that page you’ll see a gallery full of pictures from our Block Party.

And don’t forget to mark your calendars for upcoming 60th Anniversary events in the fall. There’s more to come so go to wwwhopecenter60.com to learn more about our upcoming events.

In addition to celebrating 60 years of hope, our Block Party was also the kick-off event for Camp Wild 2015, our free summer day camp program for kids in Hagerstown and surrounding areas.

Camp Wild is a summer camp program for kids ages 5-12. Kids can attend one of four weeks during July & August for free. From morning until afternoon, the campers partake in tons of various activities like games, interactive Bible lessons, singing & dancing, art projects, lunch and snacks, hay rides, zip line, swimming, adventure lessons, hiking trails, and so much more. Campers are also given free transportation* to our adventure camp! Camp Wild is definitely a highlight of the summer for hundreds of kids in downtown Hagerstown.

To volunteer at The Hope Center, including upcoming 60th Anniversary events and Camp Wild call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. Also, go to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com to learn more about the many ways you can get involved at The Hope Center.

*Camp Wild transportation is free but limited. Complimentary transportation is only available to select areas of the city during select weeks. Check the transportation schedule at http://www.campwildusa.com to see what weeks our vans will be in your part of Hagerstown. If you can provide transportation then you are free to pick the week of your choice but don’t delay, space is limited. Call 301.739.1165 or email info@campwildusa.com immediately.

Calling All Superheroes!

Superheroes unite!

Wildside Youth Ministries is hosting their first ever Superhero Party on April 21st!

Invite your friends to join you for a night of super fun where you’ll play games, earn prizes, make masks, eat great food and learn about Jesus!

Super HeroBe sure to dress as your favorite superhero to have a chance to win a special prize!

Wildside’s Superhero Party is from 5-7pm at the Trinity Center located on Walnut Street next to our Thrift Store. This is a free event and open to kids ages 5-12.

Wildside offers limited transportation to and from this event so please don’t delay calling to reserve a spot for your child if transportation is needed. To register your children for this event, whether they need transportation or not, call 301.739.1165 or email Wildside at info@wildsideyouth.com.

If you’re interested in volunteering at this event or any other Wildside event, including Camp Wild, please visit http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com to learn more about how you can get involved with this ministry and the other ministries at The Hope Center.

Our 60th Anniversary Celebration Kick-Off Was a Blast!

Our 60th Anniversary celebration kicked off in March with a party planned outside at Wheaton Park just two blocks from The Hope Center.

60th-HiRes

As the day approached, the weather man wasn’t providing us with exactly what we wanted to hear. There were some nice, mild days in the forecast but, unfortunately the day of our outdoor party was not going to cooperate.

We all know that God is in charge of the weather and He wouldn’t allow anything to happen that day that would be more than we could handle so we pressed forward with our plans to host a party for our community. We prayed that the weather would cooperate enough for us to have a good day but, more importantly, that God would bring the crowds to our event.

The morning of our party was much colder than we had hoped. In fact, it was below freezing … literally with a wind chill of 14 degrees. Our volunteers were not going to let a little cold bother them so we began setting up for our party. But God, just reminding us that He’s watching over us and showing us that He’s definitely involved in our event, provided an absolutely unexpected miracle that day.

DSC_0001

The director of the Head Start program at the MLK, Jr. Center had received our fliers about the Party-in-the-Park and had promised to help distribute them in the neighborhood.  Because of the frigid temperatures the morning of the party, this kind lady offered to allow us to use the MLK Jr Center, a community center/gym located just one block away from Wheaton Park. We hadn’t inquired about the building.  We didn’t even know it was an option. But God knew – and He had a plan! 

Of course we couldn’t say no! For the sake of our volunteers and guests we quickly took her up on the offer. And we’re so glad we did! The warmth of the building was a literal God thing that day!

DSC_0016

Our volunteers quickly began setting up the rec center for our event. We had plenty of carnival games, a photo booth, face painting, finger nail painting, food, prizes and more.

As the time approached for the start of our event, we wondered just how many people would brave the chilly weather to come to a park event.

DSC_0066DSC_0172

We never expected to have the turnout as we did. Not only had God provided an indoor facility for us to use, He brought the people out in droves! We had close to 300 guests for our “park” party! The line to get into the building was out the door for a long time!

DSC_0033DSC_0029DSC_0042

Parents, grandparents and kids filled that building with the sights and sounds of happiness & memories being made. Everyone had a wonderful time playing games, goofing around, eating, and just hanging out.

DSC_0049 DSC_0189

We even had a surprise visit by the Easter Bunny!

DSC_0093

In addition to all the indoor activities, we were able to have the egg hunt outside for all the families. Over hundreds of eggs filled with candy were hidden in plain view for all the kids who were there. Within a matter of minutes the eggs had been found but not before parents and their children had their chance to have fun together racing around to get as many as they could.

DSC_0135 DSC_0120

We had so many prizes that day but we were so excited to have drawings for a few big door prizes like big stuffed animals from LifeWay Christian Bookstore, a Mickey Mouse Easter-themed basket with a special Mickey Mouse plush all the way from Walt Disney World, and a brand new tablet!

DSC_0201

We couldn’t have asked for a better start to our 60th Anniversary celebration! God reminded us that He is still with us, supporting us just as He’s done the past 60 years.

We want to thank so many people for their hard work in making this event come to life.

First, we want to thank the kind people of the MLK Jr Center for offering us their facility to use. We appreciate their commitment to the community and all they do to help improve the lives of our neighbors.

 

DSC_0014We also want to thank a few 4th graders from Fountaindale Elementary School who wanted to do something nice for the community. These girls created “health bags” which were full of personal care items like soap, shampoo, toothpaste and other items. They collected all the items themselves and put it all together for our guests. These wonderful young ladies made 75 bags for our guests! We’re so thankful that these girls have such a big heart for others and that they actually did something to help make a difference.

To all of our volunteers, thank you! A BIG thank you! These awesome folks were willing to brave the cold temperatures to have this party outside. And they adjusted quickly to the changes once we moved the party indoors. Our volunteers probably had just as much fun as the guests and that’s exactly what we were hoping for. Thank you, volunteers, for giving your Saturday to spend it with total strangers. You may never know the impact you made on the lives of our guests but God does and someday you’ll be amazed at what those few hours on that cold Saturday morning did for someone else’s eternity. Thank you for supporting this ministry and helping us reach so many people for Christ! It’s because of faithful people like you that The Hope Center has been so successful. We thank God for our volunteers and we’re so proud to call you a part of The Hope Center family!

DSC_0182DSC_0195DSC_0015

A big thank you to Maranatha Brethren Church for providing food, prizes, activities and volunteers for this event. To all our donors and supporters, it’s not cheap nor easy to host an event like this but because of your generosity, we were able to provide our guests with a great Easter party!  Even if you only bought a bag of candy, that candy was used to tell someone that they are loved by a great God who cares so much for them. Thank you for caring & sharing and helping us show our community the love of Christ!

To Krista, Gene, Sue and Adrian, thank you for the hours of planning that you put into this event. Your heart for others is evident by how hard you worked to put this entire event together. And even when the weather wasn’t kind, your enthusiasm and optimism helped make the event so successful. We are so beyond thankful for your commitment and investment in this ministry. We know that God will bless you so much more than any of us can imagine and one day in Heaven you will see the rewards of your service. Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting together such a great event!

And to Mr. & Mrs. Shank, who worked so tirelessly behind the scenes from day one on this event, and all the other 60th Anniversary events yet to come. This is a challenging year of celebration but God has put the right people in place to make it all come to life! Your love for Christ and this ministry is evident in everything that you do each day and we don’t thank you enough for your hard work and sacrifice. Thank you for all you do and for helping to reach the least, the last and the lost for Christ. Even though its tiring and difficult, just remember as The Hope Center founder, Mr. Resh, would say, “keep on, keepin’ on!” To God be the glory!

Rock the run logo jpgOur 60th Anniversary celebration is rolling right on with our first 5K event in April. Rock the Run 5K: A Race for Hope will take place on Saturday, April 25th at Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown. This race will help to raise awareness & support for the ministry at The Hope Center that deal with homelessness and hunger in Hagerstown. So many lives are affected by homelessness and hunger and this is our way of helping to get people involved to end the hopelessness. Registration is only $25 until race day and you can register now at http://www.rocktherunhagerstown.com.

Be sure to visit http://www.hopecenter60.com to learn more about The Hope Center, see pictures from the past 60 years, and get all the info about the other upcoming events planned for 2015.